DCNA responds to impacts of Covid19 on Dutch Caribbean protected areas

Photocaption: Protected Green Sea Turtle in the St. Eustatius Marine Park (Photo Brenda Kirkby)

Kralendijk- The Board and Secretariat of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) are taking measures to ensure the continuity of conservation and park management in the Dutch Caribbean amidst the international health crisis caused by the Novel Coronavirus Covid19 Pandemic.

“As the world is hunkering down to stop the spread of the pandemic we are already anticipating a significant financial strain to non-governmental organizations that are tasked with protected area and conservation management on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. This will be an additional challenge for organizations who protect vital protected areas and species with very little resources,” commented DCNA Interim-director Tadzio Bervoets. “Considering this we are already exploring ways in which we can ensure the continuity in terms of capacity support for the protected area management organizations on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten. As parks see a drop in visitors and as Governments tighten their belts amidst the current and forecasted economic slowdown we must ensure that our crucial natural resources, and their associated goods and services, are maintained and managed and adequate environmental protection is put in place,” continued Bervoets.

Additionally, as millions of people remain at home while in quarantine, DCNA will be increasing its online presence, highlighting the unique species and natural areas which make the Dutch Caribbean the biodiversity hotspot in the Kingdom. “Using our online presence we will be highlighting the species and areas which makes the Dutch Caribbean one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. We will also be showcasing the work the Protected Area Organizations; FPNA on Aruba, STINAPA on Bonaire, CARMABI on Curacao, the Saba Conservation Foundation on Saba, STENAPA on St. Eustatius and the Nature Foundation on Sint Maarten are doing in order to conserve our critical natural resources. In these unusual times it is important that we recognize the important role our nature plays in ensuring national well-being and economic resiliency. We therefore ask the population to follow DCNA on Facebook and DCNANature on Instagram for updates and highlights of nature conservation in the Dutch Caribbean,” concluded Bervoets.

The Board and Staff of DCNA is urging everyone to maintain social distancing and self-quarantining protocols, follow the official instructions and recommendations and to practice sound hygiene protocols. If persons are allowed to venture out for a walk they are urged to do so in nature responsibly, acknowledging that spending time in nature is beneficial for health and well-being.

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